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Ho Chi Minh – great chief architect of contemporary Vietnamese state

On 2nd September 1945 at Ba Dinh Square, President Ho Chi Minh read the immortal Declaration of Independence to announce the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam- a new type of state, modern Vietnamese State. His viewpoints on building modern Vietnamese State act as an ideological foundation and a lodestar for building a socialist law-governed State of the people, by the people and for the people under the leadership of the Party for the goal of prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable, and civilized nation.

President Ho Chi Minh reads the Declaration of Independence (file photo)

1. The outcome of the whole process of selecting a state type

President Ho Chi Minh had shaped and gradually perfected his viewpoints on building a new type of State in Vietnam over the course of his revolutionary life. He actively embarked on social life in Vietnam and many other nations around the globe in a bid to seek a new development path for the nation and research fundamental revolutionary issues, including state ones. In addition to his powers of observation, he also studied political theories in the Comintern’s Soviet Union-based prestigious cadre training centres in 1920s and 1930s, namely Communist University of the Toilers of the East, the International Lenin School, and the Research Institute for Study of national and colonial Problems. Ho Chi Minh had taken an approach to revolutionary issues, including state ones via Marxist dialectical method which was scientific and revolutionary.

As dissecting the French and American revolutions, Nguyen Ai Quoc – Ho Chi Minh thought that those were “incomplete” bourgeois revolutions. In fact, even though those revolutions had been carried out many times, workers and peasants still suffered sheer miseries and the power was concentrated on the hands of minority governments. As a result, he came to the conclusion that the Vietnamese revolution should not apply these revolutions. In view of the Russian October Revolution, he thought that it was a complete revolution. It was because the power belonged to worker-peasant class in the majority after the Revolution had been successful; simultaneously, it also advocated the cause of national liberation for other peoples. The realities of the Russian Revolution led him to affirm that “when we sacrifice our lives for the revolution, we should lead that revolution to a success which means the power should be granted to a majority of people, not a minority. This prevents us from making multiple sacrifices and hence people could live a happy life”; therefore, the Vietnamese revolution should follow the Russian October Revolution’s path. According to the logic of proletarian revolution, following a successful revolution and an attendant formation of a state, the state power belongs to people, who become masters of their nation’s future and spare no effort to pursue the goal of building socialism. Fully aware of that logic as a development principle of Vietnam’s advance to socialism, Ho Chi Minh included this into the Party’s first political Platform at the Conference designed to establish the Communist Party of Vietnam in early 1930 in which a worker-peasant government was slated for inception.

The model of a worker-peasant state (adopting that of the Soviet State in reality) had been applied for a short space of time by our Party in rural areas of Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces during the peak revolutionary movement of 1930-1931. The realities had shown that the state government belonging to only worker-peasant class was not appropriate to Vietnamese colonial-feudal society when people from all social strata had aspired to national liberation, hence they all could and needed to be part of the state power apparatus. As a result, this necessitated our Party gradually selecting a suitable model of state government. At the 6th Plenum of the Party Central Committee in November 1939, our Party selected a type of democratic republic state. At the 8th Plenum of the Central Party Committee chaired by Nguyen Ai Quoc in May 1941 in Pac Bo, Ha Quang district, Cao Bang province, a new type of state was “officially” chosen under the new name: the State of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. During the run-up to the August 1945 General Uprising, this new type of state was organized into liberation Zones in which it functioned as a fledging modern Vietnamese state. Since then, Ho Chi Minh’s viewpoints on building the State of the people, by the people and for the people had been gradually perfected. His role as a chief architect in leading the building of the new type of State along with the whole Party had been further highlighted when he was officially elected Head of the Party from the Second National Party Congress (February-1951) and President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (since September 1945 until his death in September 1969).

2. The viewpoints on designing and building the new type of State

As the chief architect and the leader of the new type of Vietnamese State, his viewpoints are expressed through fundamental contents as follows.

First and foremost, the State of the people. All state powers and supreme powers belong to the people. He stated “all powers belong to the people in our State of Democratic Republic of Vietnam”. The people held a supreme status in the exercise of social powers as clearly enshrined in the 1946 and 1960 Constitutions whose compilation was under his direct leadership and instruction. In the new type of Vietnamese State, the people exercise their power in both direct and indirect fashion. Since the State powers are entrusted by the people, state power agencies and the contingent of cadres alike are servants of the people, which means they must “shoulder their shared responsibilities for the people, not harass them”; “as the people are masters of the country, presidents, ministers, and vice ministers are servants of the people; “ours is a democratic country, and the highest status belongs to the people since they are masters. In the revolutionary state apparatus, janitors, cooks, or even President of the country alike are assigned to be a servant of the people”. The State of the people means that the people have the rights to control and criticize the state, and dismiss representatives whom they vote for or elect, and disband powerful institutions that they create. He always expected that his countrymen enabled their “faithful servants” to successfully accomplish their tasks so that the State genuinely belonged to the people.

Second, the State by the people. According to Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts, the triumphal national revolutionary cause led by the Communist Party of Vietnam resulted in the foundation of the new type of Vietnamese State. The State by the people means that “the people are masters”, and hence “they must have an obligation to morally fulfil their citizenship responsibilities”; observe the State laws and labour regulations and pay taxes in due course, etc. He emphasized “cadres and public servants must genuinely respect people’s rights of mastery; the State must create favourable conditions for the people to exercise the rights prescribed by the Constitution and the laws; the people fully enjoy the rights and benefits, and fulfil their duties of mastery”.

Third, the State for the people. The State serves the people’s legitimate benefits and aspirations as stated by President Ho Chi Minh “people’s Government must always put people’s interests above all for the only purpose of pursuing freedom and happiness for all”; it is vital to love the people and put people’s interests above all and exhibit a sense of public spirit and selflessness in order to win popularity. Cadres and public servants are both servants and leaders of the people.

Fourth, the law-ruled State. The State management via the Constitution and the laws has been at the forefront of Ho Chi Minh’s viewpoints on building the new type of State. To this end, first and foremost, it is necessary to properly execute legislative work and to attach great value to enforcing the laws and to providing a supervision mechanism for law enforcement. The laws act as people’s powerful tool; therefore, it is crucial to create favourable conditions for people to enjoy their democratic rights and exercise their democratic rights in a vocal and enterprising fashion. The law enforcement was closely tied to people’s intellectual standards, so he attached great value to educating people on respecting and observing the laws in society and rendering them politically aware of getting involved in all-level government’s affairs. He always paid due attention to upholding law stringency in state management activities under the motto “Although showing leniency for those who display genuine remorse, the Vietnamese laws will strictly punish Vietnamese traitors” and any corrupt person no matter what positions or status he or she is holding. This necessitates state management and law enforcement agencies always upholding the rule of law in a strict and just manner.

Fifth, the clean, strong State - an objective and condition of the design of building the new type of Vietnamese State by Ho Chi Minh. The building of a clean strong State necessitates eliminating authoritativeness and abuse of power for personal gains and individualism; resolutely fighting corruption and wastefulness. He criticized any individual who “takes public property for private purposes without regard to integrity and morality”. He stated that “corruption, wastefulness and bureaucracy, knowingly or unknowingly, are an ally of colonialism and feudalism. Those offences are as serious as treason and treacheries”. In order to combat negative practices in state management activities, he required all-level governments to pay due regard to promote democracy in society and people’s rights of mastery, to strictly enforce the State laws, and to regularly carry out the work of inspection; he also required cadres to lead by example in their line of work.

Sixth, a tight-knit relationship between the State’s class nature and national characteristics. The State of the people, by the people, and for the people is not synonymous with the elimination of its class nature. According to Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the new type of Vietnamese State carries the nature of the working class. This is stipulated as follows: (1) the State is led by the Communist Party. According to the preamble of the 1960 Constitution, “Ours is a people’s democratic state based on the worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the working class”. The Party leads the State through guidelines and policies so that the State institutionalizes those into the laws and plans; (2) the socialist orientation towards national development. (3) The State’s organizational and operational principle is democratic centralism. There is close unity between the nature of the working class and national characteristics in the Vietnamese State. In reality, the relationships between national and class issues were harmoniously handled by Ho Chi Minh who thought that the benefits of the working class had been closely related to the interests of toilers and the whole peoples. It is the new Vietnamese State that protects and fights for the interests of the working class, labourers, and the whole nation. Ho Chi Minh, the great chief architect who left our Party and people the design of contemporary Vietnamese State – the State of the people, by the people, and for the people which has been supplemented and perfected by our Party through the mechanism of the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and people’s mastery”.

Currently, the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is being operated under the guidance of the great chief architect Ho Chi Minh amidst the period of accelerating national industrialization and modernization, market economy development and international integration. Building our clean, strong Vietnamese State is the political onus on the whole political system and people, especially cadres and party members.

Prof, PhD Mach Quang Thang

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Promoting the role of the Military in protecting the Party, State, people and socialist regime
For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.
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